Reviewer:Evan S. Hunt
February 11, 2020 Subject:
Fiery -- just as you like it
Some Deadheads don't care much for the fiery nature of the 1977 and 1978 shows. The argument is that many of the shows from this era tended to be sloppy and that is certainly accurate. But for me, I like the sloppiness if it means that the band follows Jerry's torchy abandon.
In the fall of 77 Garcia got his Wolf hot-rodded by Doug Irwin his luthier and you can hear the beefed-up sound of that guitar starting with the Garcia band tour in the late fall. It carried over into 1978 until he started using the Tiger almost exclusively in August 1979. There's some something about that guitar that just seemed to enliven Jerry and hence, the really hot playing. After awhile he dropped this style of playing that Wolf with reckless abandon. Well, heck, you just can't keep it up indefinitely. He did his best to.
This entire show is hot. Right from the get-go as displayed in the lengthy version of Half-Step all the way to the end. Check out the Scarlet Fire. It's got a totally different feel to it. It just busts out all over the place. One of my faves of this pairing.
Except for here and there the GD never duplicated their 77-78 style. Surely am glad I was fortunate enough to have attended numerous concerts in those years. They were life changing.